Teens And ‘Teen Speak’

Most teens have no idea what an acronym is, but strangely, their language is full of them. So-called ‘teen speak’ has gained prominence over the last decade or so with initials such as LOL now used by many adults too. Things like B4, instead of ‘before’, or BRB meaning ‘be right back’ crop up in most texts, especially among teenagers who have developed their own language for chatting on the internet or when texting.

‘Teen Speak’ Translation

Many parents these days are feeling totally cut-off from their children, not being able to understand this new ‘lingo’. Some are worried because they not only have no idea who their child is talking to in a chatroom, but also what is being said. Acronyms like GNOC means nothing to them, but can have disastrous results for any child.  It means ‘Get Naked On Cam”! Another is (L)MIRL or (Lets) Meet In Real Life!


For those who need to unravel this language the translation table should help. There are of course many more such acronyms, but a quick internet search could help the desperate.

Now the Oxford English Dictionary has incorporated its first ‘teen speak’ word, i.e. LOL into its pages. I wonder if this is a good thing or not. It will certainly encourage those in favour of this current idiom, and some will say it is a badge of approval but I think not. The young seem to be of the opinion that this sort of language is also satisfactory for everyday correspondence, when really nothing is further from the truth. You only have to scan newspaper comments columns to see that!

I can agree that this form of communication is quite useful when composing a text message, but outside of that I consider it dangerous.

Save Your Text Language For Texting And Chatting

Think of yourself as a businessman wanting to hire someone for the position of, shall we say, a bank manager. What would you think if the man’s curriculum was filled in using such acronyms as B4, W/E, M or F? No matter what his qualifications in accounting etc, would you consider him a potential candidate or an idiot? He would obviously not be someone with whom you would wish to correspond, and would have to consider the reaction of customers receiving letters from such a person.

No! There is a case for computer/text language, but that is where it should stay. The problem is that it has become so widespread, and now unfortunately acceptable, that it is creeping into our written language as well, and that is a bad thing.

As someone not into the trend you may well receive in the future a letter from a company that to you is completely unintelligible! – BH  (Bah! Humbug!)


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